Archive for Cochrane

The Weekly Photo – October 31, 2011

Posted in Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2011 by Darwin

Today I drove my friend David Topping to the airport in a snow storm. On the way home I saw that the Bow River between Calgary and Cochrane was full of fog, crazy cool clouds and the aspen trees were freshly frosted with snow as well. I immediately thought of Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park with its high overviews of the Bow River Valley.  But I had an appointment with the dentist for a ‘tooth emergency’. So… the photos went un-taken and the toothache won out.

I have a photo from the Glenbow Ranch taken in August with fog in the valley to remind me of what I missed today (click on the photo to see a larger version). Sometimes pain trumps photos.

©Darwin Wiggett

Canon Rebel T2i camera, Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 lens (1/4s at f8 at 50mm), Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer and Singh-Ray 2-stop hard-edge grad filter over the sky — image cropped slightly in post.


Fabulous Film Fridays – October 28, 2011

Posted in Fabulous Film Fridays with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by Darwin

In early September, Samantha, Hiroaki Kobayashi and I went on an afternoon film outing at the RancheHouse in Cochrane, Alberta. Both Sam and Hiro shot with their 4×5 view cameras while I used Linny, my Linhof 6×12 panorama camera. Sam posted her results last week and you can see Hiro’s results at this link. Below are my three favorite shots from the session. Click on each image to see a much larger version.

©Darwin Wiggett - Fujichrome Velvia 50 film

©Darwin Wiggett - Fujichrome 50 Velia film

©Darwin Wiggett - Fujichrome 50 Velvia film

The Weekly Photo – September 12, 2011

Posted in Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , on September 12, 2011 by Darwin

©Darwin Wiggett

A bike trail at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park near Cochrane, Alberta (Canon Rebel T2i, Sigma 17-50mm lens, 5 seconds at f8, Singh-Ray 3-stop hard-edge grad over sky).

Film Friday – August 18, 2011 – One Roll of Film, Six Photos

Posted in Fabulous Film Fridays, Photography Gear, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2011 by Darwin

Last week I took Linny, the Linhof 6×12 medium format film camera out for a morning shoot. I put a roll of 120 Fuji NPS 160 ISO film in the camera and was determined to shoot the entire roll of film that morning. But one roll of 120 in a 6×12 camera gives you only six shots! So I needed to be really selective about what I shot if I wanted each shot to be useable. Below are the six photos I came up with that morning. Click on any photo to see a larger version.

And for those of you that missed last week’s Film Friday, check out what Samantha did with the Fuji 645 Pro camera on a stroll in around Mitford Ponds in Cochrane.

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

Fabulous Film Fridays – July 22, 2011

Posted in Art of Photography, Fabulous Film Fridays with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by Darwin

Early in June I walked around my hometown of Cochrane, Alberta mid-afternoon for an hour and snapped these four photos using Gail my Fuji GA 645 medium format point-n-shoot camera. I used Fuij NPS160 film.

©Darwin Wiggett - Cochrane Main Street with approaching storm

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

Weekly Photo – May 23, 2011

Posted in Art of Photography, Techniques, Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , on May 23, 2011 by Darwin

In the spring, about one week before the trees burst out their fresh leaves, the buds and stems of the trees just seem to glow with colour. I am not sure why this happens but it does! I like to go out on a bright overcast day with a long lens, my Sigma 120-400mm lens gives me the most flexibility, and I use a polarizer to saturate colours. This photo was taken on May 6. To see a larger version just click on the image.

©Darwin Wiggett

The Weekly Photo – May 2, 2011

Posted in Good News, Photography Gear, TCBlog, VWBlog, Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2011 by Darwin

On April 26 I went out to photograph the newly blooming prairie crocuses that were popping up all over the wild spaces here in Cochrane, Alberta. I was busy with my Canon Rebel T2i and my Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 lens on extension tubes photographing the crocus below:

©Darwin Wiggett

Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement and looked behind me to see what I first thought was a dog coming over to visit me. A quick second glance told me this was not dog! A coyote was only 3 feet away from me! I grabbed the camera off the tipod and made this snapshot! You can see the Cochrane water treatment plant in the backround.

©Darwin Wiggett - A surprise guest! (shot at 21mm!)

The coyote was extremely brazen and then walked over to my f-stop photo bag and sniffed it.

©Darwin Wiggett - coming in for the snatch!

Right after I snapped the shot above the coyote made a dash for my camera bag and started hauling it away! Needless to say, I grabbed the bag and tugged it away from the coyote (hey, no one is taking my f-stop bag from me!).

The coyote then ran above me on the hill and looked off into the distance with enough time for me to take another photo using the pop-up fill flash on the Rebel.

©Darwin Wiggett - Coyote in Cochrane, Alberta

The coyote lost interest in my camera bag and slowly wandered down the hill and into the river valley. I was left dumbfounded by the encounter (someone must be feeding this coyote for it to be this forward with humans!).

Minutes later I saw an osprey take a large trout from the Bow River! It was a crazy day for wildlife encounters! I went back to making macro photographs but just could not believe what happened to me. BTW, the f-stop bag  (a Tilopa) withstood the attack by the coyote with no harm done to it!

©Darwin Wiggett

Fabulous Film Friday – April 29, 2011

Posted in Art of Photography, Articles about Photography, Fabulous Film Fridays, Image Processing and Software, Instruction, TCBlog, Techniques, VWBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2011 by Darwin

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I use Nik software products as a regular part of my image processing workflow. In fact, almost all images that I post on my blog have been ‘sharpened’ using Tonal Contrast in Nik Color Efex 3.0. Tonal Contrast was not designed to be a ‘sharpening’ plug-in but for me it makes web-sized JPEGS pop off the screen. I prefer this method over all other sharpening methods I have tried! For example, check out the two images below, one sharpened using Smart Sharpen in Photoshop, the other using Color Efex (both images are 35mm film captures from my Canon EOS-1n, a 70-200mm lens and Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film).

©Darwin Wiggett - Smart Sharpen in Photoshop

©Darwin Wiggett - Sharpened with Tonal Contrast in Nik Color Efex 3.0

My other favorite Nik product that I am head over heals about is Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. I thought the original Silver Efex software was good but version 2 is even better (I could go on and on about why and likely will in future posts!) but for now just know that Silver Efex Pro 2 makes black-n-white imagery easy and creative!

Anyone familiar with Fabulous Film Fridays knows that Samantha and I love our Holgas , Beep and Bop (yes we named our cameras) which are medium format toy cameras. We scan in our negatives from the Holgas and then do minimal post-processing to get the scans to look like the film. But sometimes, taking the Holga colour film scans and funking them up in Silver Efex Pro 2.0 adds just an extra touch of mood to take the image to the next level.

For example, the image below is a typical vignetted, soft dreamy Holga shot (photographed with Bop). But by adding a little Nik Silver Efex spice, using the Film Noir 1 preset,  I got a shot that is moody and artsy. My Holga, Bop meets Nik. Bop and Nik, a match made in heaven!

©Darwin Wiggett - Silver Efec Pro 2.0 with Film Noir 1 preset

As a final example here is a straight shot from Bop the Holga using Fujicolor Reala 100 film. A nice shot but lacks a little pizazz.

©Darwin Wiggett - Film scan from a Holga

And here is the same photo run through Silver Efex Pro 2.o using the Yellowed 1 preset. A single touch of a button and wow now we have art!

©Darwin Wiggett - Nik Silver Efex 2.0 with Yellowed 1 preset

If you are interested in getting any Nik software just use the discount code DARWIN to get 15% off anything Nik sells! Thanks Nik!

And  consider this your last reminder if you want to participate in our Holga Hustle and Print show on May 7 in Banff National Park. To sign up email me at We have a few spots left and anyone with any film camera is welcome to come. All results will be posted on Samantha and my blogs!

The Weekly Photo – January 17, 2011

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Image Processing and Software, Inspirations, TCBlog, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2011 by Darwin

It has been crazy cold and windy in southern Alberta but I ventured out to make some images in the dreary grey light (remember, “there is no such thing as bad light“). I found a cool snowdrift (at -30 degrees Celsius!) and decided to make a few photos. I used my Rebel T2i and my Sigma 17-50 f2.8 lens to make all the images. The photo below is the overall scene from the road:

©Darwin Wiggett - the wide view

The photo is OK, but it lacks compositional refinement. I decided I needed to get tighter and make a more graphic representation of the snow drift and the fence and so recomposed to this scene:

©Darwin Wiggett - a tighter composition

The image above is more graphic but now that little piece of grass is a distraction rather than an addition to the image. I wondered what the photo would look like with the grass cloned out. As well, I wanted to show more texture in the snow and so used ‘tonal contrast’ in Nik Color Efex to bring out more detail in the image. I also converted the image to black-n-white with a blue tone in Nik Silver Efex Pro. The result of all of this post-processing is below:

©Darwin Wiggett - a textured monochrome

Although I like the photo above, it does not show the story of that little grass head below the big snow drift and for me that little grass is an important component. I decided I needed to get tighter to show the grass in context with the drifting snow, so I got close and low and made this image:

©Darwin Wiggett - the story of the grass

I like the photo above but wondered if I could do better in terms of pure graphic representation. I really liked the undulating line of the snow drift in contrast with the diagonal dark line of the little grass and so composed a tight frame that was all about line and graphics. The final photo that I like best is this one:

©Darwin Wiggett - my favorite of the series

In the end, the moral is to really work the scene (even when your face is frozen to the camera and your fingers have fallen off!). Don’t give up with the first composition you make!

Inspirations – Horse Creek Road by Kevin McElheran

Posted in Art of Photography, Inspirations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2011 by Darwin

Every Wednesday and Sunday for 2011, I plan to feature a photo from photographers that really inspires me. I was about to go on-line trolling for some images for today when I got an email from Kevin McElheran telling me he was in my neck of the woods and that he had just made a shot of Horse Creek Road north of Cochrane. Lately a Chinook has come through and it has been crazy windy and cloudy. Undeterred by the ‘boring’ light and the stormy winds, Kevin made this image below with his 5D Mark II and a 70-200mm lens at 1/60th of a second. Just goes to show you that good photos can be made in bad  light!

©Kevin McElheran